Your Brand is the most important starting point for any organisation and a strong brand is one of your key marketing assets. A brand is more than the graphical component, the logo. Being recognised and trusted gives consumers a feeling of confidence in the products or services you provide.
When creating or reviewing your Brand you should ensure that it not only creates a point of difference between your organisation and your competitors but that it is more desirable. Ask yourself what is the value of a pair of Nike trainers without the brand? How does your perception change?
Therefore, if a brand results from perceptions in people’s minds your organisation should aim to generate, influence and control these perceptions to help performance. Any organisation can benefit enormously by developing a brand that presents the company as distinctive, trusted, exciting, reliable or whichever attributes are appropriate to your organisation. Greenpeace, for example, conjures up feelings of an ethical, trustworthy, environment-caring advocate.
If Coca-Cola were to lose all of its production-related assets in a disaster, the company would survive. By contrast, if all consumers were to have a sudden lapse of memory and forget everything related to Coca-Cola, the company would go out of business.
Aspects to Consider When Developing a Strong Brand:
- Distinctive – your logo needs to be unique
- Likable – you want your target market to feel a positive affinity towards your brand
- Meaningful – you should stand for something (and this is where your positioning statement can help)
- Memorable – designed to leave a lasting impression that resonates with your target market and is easily recognisable. The Nike swoosh viewed on its own is immediately associated with the Nike brand.
- Timeless – avoid falling for the trap of a logo that is ‘trendy’: you don’t want to be re-inventing every few years.
Defining Your Brand
If you’re thinking about how to re-brand your business, its products or services, or if you want to assess where your brand stands at present, there are four key aspects you should consider:
- The big idea – what lies at the heart of your company?
- Values – what do you believe in?
- Vision – where are you going?
- Personality – how do you want to come across?
Brand Development is Changing
The digital revolution has completely transformed the balance of control - the power has switched from the Brand to the consumer. The consumer's voice has become louder and much more public. Consumers can publish their experience of a brand and compare it with the experience of others. The ability of a brand to respond to this can have a profound affect on the way they are perceived. In order to progress in this fast-paced online world, your Brand must be nimble employing intelligent use of design, advertising, social customer service, corporate culture and so on to continually benefit the organisation.
Greenpeace effectively uses clever digital marketing to move some of the large corporate giants into more sustainable practices through public pressure. For example, when it came to Asia Pulp & Paper, a large multi-national unknown to most consumers, Greenpeace looked downstream to find a purchaser of the company’s paper that might be more concerned about its brand image. It chose Mattel — specifically, one of the company’s most iconic toys, Barbie — which was being packaged with cardboard traced to virgin forests. The campaign, called “Barbie, It’s Over,” portrayed Ken, Barbie’s longtime beau, kicking her to the curb because, as he put it, “I don’t date girls who are into deforestation.”
Mattel reached out to Asia Pulp & Paper, and while it was a relatively small customer, the paper company got the message as it really affected peoples’ perception of APP.